September 27, 2021
VP Harris and PM Modi discussed deepening bilateral engagement in education and renewable energy.
PM Suga and PM Modi expressed support for the multilateral supply chain initiative and tech cooperation.
CEOs from Adobe, Qualcomm, First Solar, Blackstone and General Atomics discussed opportunities in India.
During his meeting with PM Morrison, PM stressed on supply chain resilience and climate change cooperation.
On his three-day visit to the US, on 23 September 2021, PM Modi met with the US Vice President Kamala Harris. This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders during which a range of issues were discussed. These included the concerns about the recent development in Afghanistan, a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, vaccination efforts to control the spread of the Covid pandemic, and ensuring resilient supply chains for critical medicines, therapeutics, and healthcare equipment.
Clean energy transition in the context of climate change was also discussed, acknowledging the importance of collaborative action between India and the US for tackling the issue. PM Modi talked about India’s push for increasing renewable energy and the recently launched National Hydrogen Mission. He also emphasized the importance of lifestyle changes to promote environmental sustainability.
For future India-US collaboration, the meeting focused on areas including space cooperation, Information Technology, emerging and critical technologies, and the healthcare sector. The two leaders also discussed the importance education linkages and the flow of knowledge, innovation, and talent between the two countries.
During the meeting, US Vice President Harris is said to have agreed that India had been a victim of terrorism for several decades and that there was “a need to rein in, and closely monitor, Pakistan’s support for such terrorist groups”. This was Suo Moto referred to by Harris in the meeting. She also asked Pakistan to act so that this will not impact the security of both the US and India.
Ahead of the upcoming Quad meeting, PM Modi met the Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, on 23 September 2021. The two leaders discussed ways to take forward India-Japan bilateral ties, through enhanced trade and cultural ties. The two leaders discussed the security situation in Afghanistan, reaffirmed their commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific. They also discussed ways to enhance bilateral security and defense cooperation, including in defense equipment and technologies, between India and Japan.
Both leaders reaffirmed their support to the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) between India, Japan, and Australia earlier this year as a collaborative mechanism to enable resilient, diversified, and trustworthy supply chains. PM Modi further underlined the need to develop bilateral partnerships in manufacturing, MSME and skill development. Japanese PM conveyed that Japan is taking steps to operationalize the Specified Skilled workers (SSW) agreement signed earlier this year between the two countries, and that towards this end, Japan would be undertaking skill and language tests in India from early 2022.
The two leaders also discussed the efforts to tackle covid-19 pandemic and underscored the importance of the India-Japan Digital Partnerships, especially in start-ups, in further promoting
a digital collaboration and collaboration in emerging technologies between the two countries. Discussions also took place on climate change issues and green energy transition, and the potential for Japanese collaboration with India’s National Hydrogen Energy Mission. They also discussed the progress of bilateral developmental projects in India’s North-Eastern Region under the India-Japan Act East Forum.
On the side-lines of the first in-person Quad meeting, hosted by the US President Joe Biden, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, for a bilateral meeting. The leaders discussed a range of issues, including the Indo-Pacific, reviewed the developments in the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the recent ‘two-plus two’ dialogue, other regional developments, and the upcoming Quad meeting.
• Discussion on the Indo-Pacific: India emphasised on the importance of a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific, as the region has been dealing with China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region. The leaders reviewed the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in the meeting.
• Trade, Climate Change and Bilateral ties: PM Modi welcomed former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s visit to India as Morrison’s Special Trade Envoy for India, underlining commitment of both countries in achieving an early harvest announcement on an interim agreement by December 2021. He also stressed on the need to have a broader dialogue on the issue of climate change and protecting the environment. The leaders also discussed measures taken towards clean energy technologies. The leaders also spoke about the ways to improve people-to-people ties between the countries.
The Indian and Australian Prime Ministers were meeting for the first time in-person, since the announcement of the AUKUS (Australia, the UK and the US) security partnership (which is being viewed as an effort to oppose China in the Indo-Pacific, will enable the US and the UK to equip Australia with the technology to develop nuclear-powered submarines). The leaders mutually agreed on the need for India and Australia to collaborate for battling the challenges in the post-pandemic world to improve supply chain resilience among other things.
PM Modi’s Interaction with the CEOs
Prime Minister Modi led one-on-one meetings with CEOs of top US companies, including with Vivek Lall (General Atomics), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Mark Widmar (First Solar), Stephen A Schwarzman (Blackstone) and Cristiano E Amon (Qualcomm), to discuss opportunities for investments in India. The meetings are in line with the current government objectives of military modernization, enhancing defence trade, advancements in the Information Technology space, growth in the semiconductor sector, innovation in wireless technology and broadly, boosting foreign investment in India. The discussions were along the following lines:
• Meeting with Vivek Lall, CEO ( General Atomics) – The meeting coincides with India’s ongoing efforts to amplify military modernization through the acquisition of drones and state-of-the art technology. During the one-on-one meeting, Prime Minister Modi and Mr Lall discussed the expansion of ties in the defence sector.
• Meeting with Shantanu Narayen, CEO (Adobe) – Mr Narayan expressed interest in expanding collaborations across the domains of healthcare, R&D and education in addition to giving the children of India access to quality animation and video content.
• Meeting with Mark Widmar, CEO (First Solar) – Mr Widmar expressed interest in utilizing the Production Linked Incentive to produce solar energy components in India and integrate the country into the global solar energy supply chain. The company is currently helping Indian resources reach the renewable energy generation target of 100GW.
• Meeting with Stephen A Schwarzman, CEO (Blackstone) – Mr Schwarzman apprised Prime Minister Modi about the current activities of the firm and emphasised the potential for greater engagement through the National Infrastructure Pipeline and the Asset Monetization Programme.
• Meeting with Cristiano E. Amon, CEO (Qualcomm) – The meeting with semiconductor and wireless technology giant Qualcomm saw Prime Minister Modi congratulating the entity for its work over the years and making the case for partnering with the Indian semiconductor space.